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HR Worker Says Unlimited Time Off Is Not A 'Perk' & Tells Employees Why It Could Be Bad For Them

Photo: @hackyourhr / TikTok 
HR worker, unlimited PTO

To most employees, unlimited paid-time off sounds like a dream come true, especially in the corporate world where it feels as if you work more than breathe. 

However, one woman who is familiar with the HR world is spreading awareness about why unlimited PTO may not be the perk that it is branded to be, and explains why accrued PTO is the better option of the two. 

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The HR worker says unlimited PTO may not work in the employees' favor.

She explained that employees who are given accrued PTO are compensated for their unused time off when they leave the company. 

Amy, who claims herself to be an HR expert and posts several videos to her TikTok account to help employees “get ahead” in their corporate jobs, revealed exactly why unlimited PTO is not as good as it sounds. 

In a TikTok video that has been viewed over 70,000 times, she explains that most companies offer their employees one of two PTO plans: accrued and unlimited. 

Accrued is a type of PTO that employees can accumulate over time at their job. It can be accrued on a weekly, hourly, bi-weekly, quarterly, annual or pay-period basis. 

Unlimited PTO means that employees have no limit on the amount of time they take off, as long as they are managing their workload. 



Amy works at a company that offers accrued PTO, which she says is a more practical plan. 

“Accrued PTO ensures that you can either take time off or you are paid (when you leave the company) for the time that they say you should take time off for your mental health,” she explains. 

“If you are talking to a company that has unlimited PTO in an interview, I would recommend that you ask how the HR department or how managers are trained or equipped or encouraged or incentivized to ensure that their teams are taking time off throughout the year,” Amy advises. 

“It saves the company a ton of money not to carry this on the books, the amount of accrued PTO that they have to pay out when someone leaves.” 

She adds that the best companies she has seen refer to unlimited PTO as “flexible time off.” 

“[They] offer a financial incentive if you take at least five days in a row… this would be like $1,000 if you took five days off in a row,” she says.

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Many TikTok users defended unlimited PTO in the comments section. 

They enjoyed having the flexibility to take off from work whenever they desired to. 

“Unlimited PTO is the best thing invented! My company encourages it and never denies any day I want,” one user commented. 

“I have unlimited PTO and take days off every month. I’ve never been denied,” another user chimed in. 

“As a working mom I respectfully disagree. Unlimited > all day,” another user wrote. 

These workers are definitely making the most of their unlimited PTO — as they should — but researchers have questioned whether this so-called benefit is actually all it's set up to be.

In a study by HR platform Namely, research suggests that employees with “unlimited” PTO actually take fewer days off on average than those with a limited number — people with unlimited PTO take an average of 13 days off versus those with limited days off who take 15.

Other users believed that unlimited PTO is not always practical at some companies. 

“I interviewed for a job that said ‘unlimited PTO’ but found out it’s really accrued PTO that rolls over each year. I like that much better!” one user shared. 

“I have almost three weeks of accrued PTO because I’m not paid enough to actually use it and go anywhere. Hoping for a fat check when I leave though,” another user wrote. 

“I refuse to go for a job that has unlimited PTO. My job has four weeks accrued PTO and you can accrue up to 600 hours and sell it back,” another user added. 

All in all, before you accept a job position you should take the PTO plan offered into consideration and determine which is best for you. 

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 Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.